Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Skepticism on claims of national security.

President Bush said that he would fire anyone in his
administration who had leaked the identity of a CIA
officer, if the leak broke the law. "If someone
committed a crime," Bush said speaking to reporters
after a meeting with visiting Indian Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh, "they will no longer work in my

Might be waiting long. But this event, in addition to
send Judith Miller a journalist of the New York Times
to jail while Bob Novak is free and non supportive

of his colleague, brings in others problems :

Quote : The debate over the leak of CIA operative
Valerie Plame's identity has caused a curious about-face
by Washington politicians, with Democrats who have long
favored a laissez-faire attitude toward leaks of
classified information now decrying them, and
Republicans who once wanted to criminalize every such
leak suggesting that the one involving Ms. Plame wasn't
so terrible.

"This is just shameless," a former Justice Department
official, Bruce Fein, said. He said the political
posturing on both sides may actually encourage more
leaks. "It really is staggering. It undercuts their own
claim that it's serious business, because it makes
people in the bureaucracy think the only issue is
whether you have enough politicians lined up behind

Those who track government classification policy were
left spinning by last week's political developments, as
Democrats moved to take advantage of the disclosure that
President Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove,
apparently played some role as a source for news stories
that exposed Ms. Plame's employment at the CIA.

Several Democratic senators, including Senator Schumer,
pushed for a new law stripping security clearances from
leakers. The Senate's Republican leadership countered
with a proposal aimed at denying clearances to lawmakers
who release classified FBI reports or make comments that
are used as propaganda by terrorist organizations.

" It teaches us to be a little bit more skeptical of
claims of national security," said a leading authority
on government secrecy, Steven Aftergood of the
Federation of American Scientists. "Our classification
policies are inevitably filtered through a political
lens... " (end of quotes The New York Sun)

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